Inventive uses for the Pipe Builder plugin

Ah…. thank you…

I HAVE been doing this… though I’ve been trying to do both the sides and the rungs in one process versus separately (with mixed results, as you can imagine)

I just thought I’d share a couple of uses I had found for the plugin.

Feel free to add your own here…

[b:5ci9xv8i]No1 – locomotive spring hangers[/b:5ci9xv8i]

1) add a cube to the scene
2) divide the two lower edges into two (max/min Z) and join the two new points with the edge operation.
3) drag the new edge down slightly with the right mouse button

4) extrude the new edge and extend down.

5) resize the whole object to about 0.03 wider and 0.03 shorter than the spring object.

6) Select the edges at both ends and run the pipe builder plugin – 4 sides, 0.025 diameter

position over the spring… et voila!

Relatively low poly (48 each) due to the lack of ends.

…Incidently – if you need covered ends on a pipe built with the plugin – the Solidify operation does the trick.

Very handy tip Paul. From the information you have given I can see many uses in addtion to Train models.Bicycle frames, Candlelabra, any types of hose, chains etc <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

Honest, I think pipe builder is as close as you can get to the splines and lofts feature in 3D Studio. I have no idea how I could have produced any of my recent models without it.

I’ve posted a tutorial on the Steam4me site for some ideas on it’s basic use. More aimed at new people than powerusers or experienced modelers.

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Time for #2…

Ladder with curved top

1) Start with a default Cylinder
2) use a rotational shift operation of 90 degrees to put it on its side.
3) Use the multi-select tool on the right with the Ctrl + Alt keys held down to delete all the points *below* the centre line

This leaves half a cylinder:

4) Add a default Cube.
5) Select the half cylinder object and run my ‘3DC Butt Objects’ plugin. Select the cube from the tree view and Centre on X

and Z, Maximum Y
(There are other methods of doing this, but I find this quickest)
6) Merge the two objects into 1 with the Merge tool on the right
7) Run the Weld to Range plugin to make sure there are no double points.

We now have a single object:

8) Scale the object to the right dimensions (usually about 0.4 in X and Z directions, about 0.7 Y)
9) In select face mode, right mouse drag the lower face to give the full length of the ladder

10) Hold down the Ctrl key and select the edges that make up both sides of the ladder.
11) Run the Pipe Builder – I used 5 sides, 0.04 diameter

12) There should now be 2 pipe objects in a single sub group – drag this out of the way
13) reverse the process of extending the lower surface so it is now at the position of the first rung.
14) Use the extrude operation, using the rung separation value (about 0.3)

15) Select all the rung edges and run pipe builder (here I used 5 sides and 0.03 as values)
16) Delete the first object
17) Some of the rungs were formed inside out – I needed to select each in turn and run the invert operation

18) Using the hierarchy, drag the ‘rung’ pipe group into the ‘sides’ pipe group so it becomes a sub-group

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